Sunday, February 7, 2016

Of late: January Musings

1/ Sometimes OKAY, sometimes not   2/ Hollyburn and cross-countries again X X

3/ Brisket benny brunch with Sister       4/ Following my anxiety remedy: go outside!

5/ From where I'm standing, Pt. Roberts edition        6/ New hobby

7/ Learning to use a curling iron        8/ Blood pressure lowers, jest looking at this

Of late...

January was// that sound you hear in the movies when the fast car squeals to a complete, utter stop.




Meaning: all the Stuff, the speeding, the stress of the past few months caught up to me, and I ran out of wiggle room.

I hit my crash-test-dummy wall. 

Despite how resilient you are, I am, no one can do a zillion things at once, and still expect to do any of them brilliantly. 

All the peace that the few days in Saturna provided seemed to disappear on the realization that Back to School + Work Monday (Monday, which signifies Adulting, anxiety, the yanking of total freedom) was at hand. 

And thus, began a month of little, little sleep.

Some panic.

Much discomfort. 

Out sick from a cold for a week.

Stepped in dog doo doo on my way to work.

That kind of trajectory, you know?

At exactly the halfway point of the month, exhausted and sad, I took a walk with myself and along the way, closed my eyes.

Me: Hey body?

Body: Yes?

Me: What do you need from us?

Body: Well. (a breath) It would be so, so, so nice if we just... didn't work for a while. Just concentrated on school. Is that okay?

Me: (Gulp).

Shall we segue?

Body// went on strike, in the most loving way possible.

It's always frustrating when she does that. At least at first.

You, who have been with me a long while know the details, how it's uncomfortable, how it impacts my esteem and general joyfulness.

I clench. I ask: Why? Why me? Why are you doing this to me?

But then I settle down. I know why. I know why by now. 

Despite my attempt to heed her call from last month, I still was moving too quickly with all my to-do lists giving me paper cuts. 

Soooooooooo, she put me in time out. Forced hibernation.

 I did not like this--


-- but I can't.

So I stopped.

What Did You Love?//  

♥ Darcy at Poke Acupuncture. She's been on my healing team for the past five years.  I go see her when I'm particularly sideways. She lets me cry and sometimes tears up with me and makes me feel brave and true.
♥ Walking along the beach, below the bluffs of Point Roberts, in the company of my favourite person. So many shiny stones. Seeing ocean everywhere, and only a fistful of people, sparsely spread out. It is expansive to see more nature around you than human bodies, sometimes. Going to dirty ol' White Spot and getting a clubhouse afterwards.
♥ Ron Swanson + Tom Haverford + Leslie Knope and all my friends of Parks & Recreation. 
♥ Deeper talks, longer walks. Reaching out to those who "get it", will let me be.
♥ My parents, for always offering to take good care of me.  
♥ Plant therapy with sister
♥ Picking up calligraphy, and buying myself my first sketch book. 
♥ Admiring my husband, who is such a committed and loving teacher, for kicking ass at his new gig. Rest assured, we are both tired and bleary-eyed, and have our hands full-- but I sure do get a kick out of witnessing how he is living up to the memory of his momma, who I hear had a fierce, beautiful teacher heart just like he has.

On Productivity//  

This month, it was really hard to accept the notion that I wasn't going to be able to work as much as I did last semester. I took on three courses this term-- all of which are heavy duty for the brain and heart, and there was just no way I was going to be able to continue working 2-3 days a week.

On paper, it was easy to spit that out. But in practice... so, so hard. I felt an immense sense of guilt or self-criticism for not being able to 'pull my weight' as a breadwinner. I felt like I had disappointed an unnamed and unspecified "someone"; because certainly, B was in full support of me concentrating on my studies, and this impacts literally no one else. So, this ancient voice, this inner Boss, speaking with incredulity: "Oh come on. You can at least work two days a week."

That's all me.

Well-- culture and DNA and society, amalgamated together within me, in a You Should! state of pointing fingers.

Isn't it fucked? Why do we all get trapped in this pattern? As children, didn't we have the wisdom of knowing that being busy and earning money isn't and can't be the most important thing?

I don't want to live that way. Should-ing yourself is a very messy business. 

I may need many reminders, but somewhere in here I know that I am working the hardest I can with what I've got, and if I work less for a while, life will go on. 

We all deserve to treat ourselves like our own best friends, and say with tenderness: you did enough for today. The world doesn't need your over-worked, overwhelmed work ethic. It wants your big, big heart that has room in it for smiling and crying and caring and noticing. 

Go lie down.

Words that Resonate//

I read a lot. Sometimes I share books I've loved here.
But just as often, little turns of phrases, or whole paragraphs from articles, or tiny poems will leap out at me. This month:

With That Moon Language

Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.

Still though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect. Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that sweet moon language, What every other eye in this world is dying to hear?


I step into my vulnerability. I dare myself to stay where I am uncomfortable emotionally, instead of turning off the feelings. 

I love myself as if I were a baby, a tiny little girl who deserves all the care any of us deserve. 

If any of this tugged at that smaller being within you, the one who has been asking for you to slow down, I say: you are enough, my friend, just as you are. We think you are the sky and the stars.

With all my love,

Your pen pal


  1. Nothing worse than stepping in a great big pile of should, and then realizing it was your own! Love the dance between dialogue with self and pen pal. Big heartfelt hug for your words about mom n me. Parts I especially like:

    a fierce, beautiful teacher heart just like he has

    culture and DNA and society, amalgamated together within me

    The world doesn't need your over-worked, overwhelmed work ethic. It wants your big, big heart that has room in it for smiling and crying and caring and noticing...Go lie down.

    This last because so many times I am wishing I had more energy for family and friends and it is stressful to feel underperforming in that department. Yet a nap makes everything better and often I later realize that the person I was so fixated on being available for was busy anyway.

    Beautiful poet words.

  2. uncomfortable and sick is the remind (and also the blessing), tell you that your body is enough , enough workload , enough pressure, not work and focus on studying is a good idea. Or may be next term not take too much course.
    with love, Iris

  3. A small part of me says I need to put food on the table, while the other part is relishing in the deep talks and catch ups I am able to have with friends, the open and present mind and attention I can give to listen to them and connect; all the books I can read for leisure; the basking in bed until 10am. For the first time in awhile I don't feel guilty about it. I am accountable to myself. Most importantly, I am spending this time contributing to projects and people I value. I don't know where it will lead but I am excited and hopeful for the first time in quite awhile.

    I am the slowest person I know (I think) and I am learning to own this, so if you need someone to be slow with.... send me some snail mail (people never send letters anymore!)